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abortion group denied The manager of a Lavington cafe has denied being a front for anti abortion group Helpers of God's Precious Infants.
Esencia Cafe's Jolleen Suter was responding to claims the coffee shop helps fund a women's clinic "pedalling authentic burberry an extreme format of anti abortion propaganda". The article stated profits from the volunteer run cafe supported the adjacent Women's Life Centre which provides "hope, help and healing for women facing unexpected pregnancy". However a letter to the editor claimed the facility was "an anti abortion front associated with groups best known in Albury for their ongoing harassment, intimidation and coercion of women attempting to seek medical treatment such as abortions". The story attracted national attention on BuzzFeed this week with the headline 'This Church Funded Cafe is Raising Money For The Anti Abortion Clinic Next Door'. It questioned whether in between the "top notch" hot chocolate and "divine cheesecakes", customers were aware they were funding a $30,000 ultrasound machine for a centre owned by the Catholic Parish of burberry discount prices Holy Spirit Lavington". The report also raised concerns by Border obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Pieter Mourik about the credentials of people conducting scans. Ms Suter, a burberry tote outlet registered nurse, said she was saddened by the backlash and denied the cafe was linked to the Helpers. "The centre is not about bashing people into keeping their babies," she said. "It's about being there for women and supporting them wherever they are at." Women's Life Centre director Peta Evans told TheBorder Mail the centre was an incorporated organisation separate to the church. Ms Evans has previously been a spokeswoman for the Helpers, which regularly protests at the Englehardt Street abortion clinic. She said she had "stepped away and separated myself" from the group to concentrate on her work at the centre, including completing a diploma in counselling. While Ms Evans said the centre "did not refer women for an abortion", it provided comprehensive information about what was involved in carrying through with a pregnancy as well as abortion procedures. She was adamant the centre did not employ "shock tactics", pray with clients or try to force women into keeping their babies.
She confirmed no one associated with the Helpers worked at the centre. "We have nothing to hide; this is a place for support, comfort and help," she said. Tomorrow: Doctors' viewSUPPORT FOR WOMEN: Esencia Cafe manager Jolleen Suter burberry sale shop says there is no link with anti abortion group Helpers of God's Precious Infants.